Local artists wake up for Coachella

The three day Coachella Arts and Music Festival featured local bands Trampled by Turtles and Gayngs.

Joseph Kleinschmidt

Justin Vernon, one of the few guests at Kanye WestâÄôs headlining performance at the Coachella Arts and Music Festival on Sunday, provided resounding introductory Auto-Tuned vocals before three songs from WestâÄôs latest effort, âÄúMy Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.âÄù Best known for his falsetto folk in Bon Iver, the Eau Claire, Wis., native also performed last Friday as a member of Midwest megagroup Gayngs.

Featuring members of local acts like P.O.S, Dessa, Solid Gold, Har Mar Superstar and Leisure Birds, Ryan OlsonâÄôs 1980s-inspired soft-rock project entranced listeners following the electro-pop of Swedish singer Robyn.

âÄúIf you told me a year ago IâÄôd be playing Coachella, I never would have guessed it,âÄù Gayngs member Jake Luck said. Luck, the keyboardist and vocalist of Minneapolis psychedelic rockers Leisure Birds, echoes the festivalâÄôs intensifying sentiment. Fresh talent reigned supreme for much of the three-day musical overload.

Upward of 80,000 hipsters and music fans gathered at the Empire Polo Club for Coachella. In the company of the Chemical Brothers, Arcade Fire and The Strokes, relatively new bands with Minnesota ties like Gayngs also entertained hordes of attendees.

Kicking off SaturdayâÄôs slew of main-stage shows, Duluth-based Trampled by Turtles performed its blend of buoyant country and bluegrass, coming off its latest release, âÄúPalomino.âÄù Set to open Spring Jam this year, the quintet will inevitably play for a smaller crowd in the St. Paul campus Animal Arena.

A veritable crowd itself, OlsonâÄôs project, Gayngs, incorporates around 25 musicians in all. GayngsâÄô debut album, âÄúRelayted,âÄù sounds surreal and spacious, lending a welcome addition to the well of talent gushing from Coachella.

Originally slated to play the Austin City Limits music festival, their Coachella debut more than made up for the debacle surrounding their misplaced equipment.

Recent musical guests on âÄúLate Night with Jimmy Fallon,âÄù Gayngs continued to establish its place within the independent music realm with CoachellaâÄôs late-night concert.

âÄúNo one could have anticipated Gayngs doing as well as weâÄôve done,âÄù Luck said. âÄú[Coachella] is definitely the biggest show weâÄôve ever played.âÄù

CoachellaâÄôs eclectic assortment of talent gains new fans for groups like Trampled by Turtles and Gayngs. Although performances by Minnesota-based groups did not feature the cascade of giant LED-powered beach balls of Arcade Fire or an entrance like Kanye WestâÄôs (atop a massive crane), they remain poised to continue rising in popularity.

âÄúThe most mind-blowing part was seeing Kanye West,âÄù Luck said. âÄúThat is pop culture in its purest form.âÄù

The theatricality of CoachellaâÄôs headliners united fans and fresh artists alike. The adolescent anthems of Arcade Fire, The StrokesâÄô pervading sarcasm and the sheer bravado of Kanye West signal a generational shift that newer acts such as Gayngs may soon embody.